After nine years of keeping his prostate cancer at bay, the drugs were no longer working. The doctors told him his time was nearly up. So Jeff Metcalf dove deep into writing, tasking himself with writing one essay each week for a year. His new book “Requiem for the Living” contains the best of the resulting fifty-two essays by an author who continues to defy his medical prognosis. The essays form a memoir of sorts, recounting good times and critical moments from Metcalf’s life.
He does not describe a life defined by cancer but writes to discover what his life has been, who he has become, and what he has learned along the way. Brian Doyle, author of “Two Voices,” says, “I liked this book first for what it is, a cleanly written and fascinating story of a life spent paying close attention to the miracles. But I also like it very much for what it isn’t, and could so easily have been—a work of self-pity, a litany of ills and blaming.” “Requiem for the Living” is funny, moving, profoundly personal, and a testimony to the human spirit.